Peter Gago Chief Winemaker
It’s difficult to believe that Peter Gago has been the Chief Winemaker of Penfolds since 2002, with 2020 marking his 31sh vintage. As Chief Winemakers go he is just getting started, but such has been Peter’s influence that even in this illustrious club one feels like he has been doing this since Penfolds began.
Engaging and energetic, Peter has a dedication that is unsurpassed. He spends the first, and most important, half of the year labouring from winery to vineyard, ‘Ensuring our viticultural practices are world class, and understanding the nuances of our many and varied vineyards’.
Post-vintage, he enthusiastically embarks on his other role as a flamboyant ambassador and natural educator. As only the 4th custodian of Grange, Peter is in high demand internationally and he relishes bringing Penfolds wines to the world and the world of wine to him. The exposure keeps him sharp, enthused and well-versed in world wine styles, ‘It’s important not to fall into the trap of drinking only your own wines. You must have benchmarks against which to measure your own achievements’.
Under his stewardship, and that of his winemaking team, the wines of Penfolds have taken their own high standards to a new stratosphere. His careful custodianship has ensured that Grange, and the other ‘older’ members of the Penfolds family have continued to set the benchmark for their style and quality while new additions to the range push the boundaries ever wider.
His reds have taken on a voluptuous texture with a complex array of fruit flavours, not just in the red or black spectrum but of every berry imaginable. And the formidable tannin structure is ever present but now there is a gloss and shine to them akin to freshly polished boots and velvet gloves.
Penfolds white wines have also made gigantic improvements. As fruit sourcing moves further south and vineyards can be targeted for special attention, the wines have become ever more refined with majestic balance and silky textures.
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The History of Penfolds Grange - Winemakers through the ages - By Max Schubert
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